MOTEi Thm® ptreistent moans and frequent
soreaous heard in the vicinity of the ¥OHBEATM\
office this semester have "been caused, by
mimeograph monstrosities of such gargantuan
proportion® that, for the first time in
thirteen years, WGEOEAfER has failed to
publish on -time. Consequently* this issue ie
numbered 5j3~5Ui siui represents the laat two
issue© for 1985' «
53 BTiWi Jim Bc?hiijsg' ? Judy Balfieid, Lindeey
Bianohij Shelbia Chandler, Judy Lake,
Robin McWiliiasas J John Stobart
R Sk S^H!Fi Jim Behling, Judy Belfield, Shelbda
Chandler 9 Jerry Keir, Judy La&© s Bobin
MeWilliaras, John Stcbari
To get a submission printed In issue 53 or 5U» four of the
seven people on the staff had to vote for acceptance. For
the award winner®, only John Btobaxt is r©fsp©ngible s
All copyrights are retained
by the authors? , and material
may not b& reprinted without
Manuscript* or cover designs
for WOKDEATER 5f> must be
submitted to John Stobert ,
in room C-1069 by 8
February 21, 1986*
Manuscripts will net be
returned and SHOULD BE
NEXtf WO BB&DLDJES»
February 21, 1986
April 18, I986
Table of Contents
W. A. Kahle
W. A. Kahle
Larry McKay ,
Mike Tr oyer .. '.
Terry Rogers- •■
Sir Gum Ball
Chocolate Ice Cream. .
History. . .
eenvee. . . .
Neglect . . .
Poe Zest . .
Torched . .
Pablo's Guernic a ^i,!. . .
Red and Black Dresses
She Is Immaculate....
I Own Two Grandmas . . .
Quo Vadis , Baby. .....
Urban Lullabye .......
, Atlas Puked .'..,.:...;• i
A Jungle End ....................
Ode To A TV Junkie. ,
My Acceptance- Speech *...,-..
Light s Out ..•«..««....««•»«.»...
i"i.XX JTiOXXOwS ......as*. ..ft... c*.e
Dave Vs Grave
Exhumation ................ %$ * . . .
• Gergonky Situations. ,
J2jV S.JL X/ €*€?&£? • «aw«*»ft«»4«»«a«*$*e«tf
Guilt Screams ...................
A Baseball Fan*s View. ..«••.,•..«.
Teacher ' s Conference. ...........
.Pondering Insomnia I... ......... .
Pondering Insomnia 11* ...........
Spare Me the Nose. . « » ,
Moonmarked. ....... ,..« ........ . . : .
Footprints In the Threshold of
I'll Burn That Bridge. ........
• La Voyage De La Musi que
The Grand -Design. .............
illv X-3T X v \SX & • e ess * * «««»« •« (•"*»••
■ ' Noctivigation. .....'..'.'.. .'.V. . .
The Steam of Consciousness
Memorabilia. .... ... . .......'.
Brainwave : Goodbye .....
A Fly In My Dream Soup . .
In The Mourning.
Be My Shadow. ............
Black Or Me ............ .
I'm An Addict of Sorts..
Cinematic Demise. .......
The Unprepared Student's
In The Park
Listening to Them, ......
A Typo Error in the Wall Street
... v . 18
... « < JLO
• ■ • < • £--i.
* • • • • CmJL
m • • ' « • cL(Z.
. . L ,22
'. j 1 •„' . 22
» * t. u q t— . £Z.
. ... .26
. . ,2b
. . o C- |
« * c •
SIR GUM BALL
Such grace you hava sitting in
thr.t "big glass "bubble.
Royalty for a penny.
Blues, reds, yellows, and whites exalt
Your individuality compliments your sweet
such distinction that appeals to many.
Children cry for you,
others die for you.
I am not as common as you
might think, your Highness.
You don't deceive me.
To me, you're not so attractive!
Today, I crown licorice
She dreamed of bubblegum days
when the summer was alive
with hopscotch patterns
and blue popsicles;
and soft tar
she prodded with a sandaled toe.
She remembered when tomorrow
was so far away
it ached to think of it;
when everything was colossal
except her rocking chair
and a stray kitten
she couldn't keep.
She thought how it might he
to return to the time
when all things were nossihle
including long nights
and darkness crowded with monsters,
We were right all along
We were young (and they knew)
They had decided long ago
What to do
We hid in the branches of the trees
We crawled through the bushes on our knees
And the neighbor children too
We're just like me and you
Til the day
When they showed us where to stay
Now you've tried to be a girl
For thirty years in this world
All grown up (no excuse)
Ciiildhood dreams and silly games
Can't remain, cannot explain
How the young fade away
How the old come to stay
With their regimented lives
With their husbands and their wives
With unmentionable names
Games that never can be won
By a daughter or a son
Who in th:- end must acquiesce
To all that which pre-exists
In this world of growing up
And proving ° c '
CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM
Look at me!
He spoke, and you will listen.
He will speak, and you heard.
Tell me where I stand.
But will you look?
Look at me?
I'm here and you will see.
I will he here and you saw.
Look at me!
i hate e e cummings
and i hate
Tears on ay tongue,
I taste the night.
When she left
broken bottles —
Lying next to my heart.
Pieces cut ay eyes.
She walked out —
With ay sharp razor.
No blades —
Crimson stains —
On my scalp.
Salty tears —
The smell of death.
Snakes slither by —
Worms stare at me,
in his last seconds
a rising sun flaring
in his eyes
like the sudden groundf lash
of a bomb
No time to recount, recall
a short life
conceived and nourished
for this moment —
the obliteration of insignificance
in the cause of glory
greater than any self
grander than any
identity . . .
greater love than this —
and we wear no armbands
remember no names.
ice-limbed and stiff
at her milkless breast
cradles only herself
and never wonders
her heart a chipped cup
cold and empty
ignores promises —
too many were made
before the frost.
naked and dancing
around and around
in a hurried frenzy
Nothing to remove
what there is to gain
The critical spectators
how they can seei
staring at me.
Have I forgotten how
to cover up?
almost too real to be
in a place where such exposure
a trapped, wandering mind
in a body
that dances to dizziness.
An alteration on pants,
A substitution; new Coke —
Margarine for butter 1
Why a different shirt?
An adjustment on a TV —
Painting the kitchen black, of course
A different route to school
A quarter, a dime, a nickel, a franc,
Winter to spring
A new opinion,
Of course, change is necessary.
■KKX K XXfrfr
! Lo&Mg Blaaoifcl
CM" «vi i»4t%
Centaur 'Hak «*t
W. A. Kahle
A smile at the end
of a long staircase
descended three steps at a time
a twelve-y ear-old
in thick black curls
and midnight almond eyes
reconsiders her position
fingering a white newel post —
a juncture between
girl and woman
here in a terrazzo entrywayj
beyond, a double door leads
to the street
a ragged thoroughfare
laced with Dickens' squalor
and the smell of Offal Court . .
she cannot know
the lure the gypsies heed
in late spring
when white moths
singe their wings with light
and still move on.
are trying to get older
by dealing with mat chs ticks.
Towering havens of beauty
life's most graphic prize
creek, sway, and whistle
letting haze to pass tlirough
those black, charred limbs . . .
incinerated alive —
introduced to agony
at age two-hundred —
like mother or father . . .
Sap boiling thick
remembrances in horror at the
memory of Washington's extractions
maple juice taken here, circa
Having to succeed
for so long' an age,
centuries concentrate —
in one dead second
of a match struck with apathy —
its doer -lind to note his elders,
to cremate ... to torch
Father's nursing- home.
to Pablo's wailing woman
an abstract madonna
with a prominent nose
smelling death in her arms
as insanity drops like bombs
on the Spanish hamlet
seeps into the ".ochre dust
of summer-dried earth
burned black and white
in Pablo's imagination
and given to us
with a grand gesture of hopes
a peace dove.
She listens desperately
for its coo
hears instead a shriek
decides it isn't Pablo's fault
he didn't know
tankle, a kind of a ring
jangle, a pong, and a ping
A snap, and a tap, and off we go,
The rhythm and beat are starting to flow.
One, two, three, one, two, three, pong,
pong, jangle, tink.
This is the beginning of a
BED AND BLACK DRESSES
Red and black dresses svrim through
The waves of neon lights
In the Brazilian disco.
Whores, murmuring lulls of persuasion into
the pink, fuzzy ears of American men
teasingly touch masculine skin that is
hot as chili.
Santana blasts out in multi-decibels
over the sound system, making the
red and black dresses swim faster.
Pet monkeys climb onto the bar and
help themselves to sangria.
In the midst of the fury, she sits alone,
in her red and black dress.
People amongst her, floating above the
sea of cotton prints.
Her dense, blue-black hair vraiting to
fly from the force of a dip.
Tan, taut skin clings to her bones
as she makes her way onto the dance floor.
Swirling round and round on the fiberglass
floor, she begins to drown amidst the
black and red dresses.
Licensed freedom walks up to her
touches the bare creamy skin on her shoulder
exposing' tan lines as shocking as a boiling
She falls into freedom's arms, undistracted
a crash, and a chord, and the running of feet, by the loud beat of the band.
Pardon me please, will you speak with the beat? And becomes one with him.
What was that? Oh. No, really I'm fine.
Yes, I composed thisi This song is mine!
SC'X X X'XK R-&
SH3 IS IMMACULATE
QUO VADIS, BABY
All ragged and beaten.
But she loved—
She is immaculate.
Hover the same they say
After "it" happens.
Her clothes torn,
Tears streaming from her eyes
She smiles- —
She is immaculate.
"Forgiven," she says, "Forgiven"
How can she say that'; ' '
1 don't know.
She ' is immaculate.
I know :she hurts, she won't admit.
Even new she hides those tears,
She is dry now.
She is immaculate.
She perceives that I care.
God, why her?
She is immaculate.
Three years later, I still seek him.
Death is upon him.
"When I find him, he will know-
She is immaculate.
I mm TWO GHAHDMAS
I won two grandmas. Grandma Lacey is my
daddy's mom and Grandma Dot tie is my mommy? s
Sometimes my grandmas act a lot alike.
Sometimes they act different.
Both my grandmas talk funny. Grandma
Lacey sometimes talks baby-talk. "Does my
Poopsi©-¥oopsie wanna cookio-wookie:" Grandma
J>?,oey askp as she pinches my cheeks. She
makes me giggle when she talks like that.
Grandma Dottie uses old fashioned words
for new-fashioned things. She always calls
ray blue jeans "britches." And she says her
purse is her "pocketbook." She makes me gig-
gly when she talks like that.
Both my grandmas sometimes let me sleep
overnight. I get to deep in a room all by
myself when I stay at Grandma Lacey' s. "This
room u^cd to belong to your daddy," she always
says when r>he "bucks me in.. Then she tells me
stories about daddy when he was a little boy.
I think that's when she knew him best. Grand-
ma Laoey always makes bedtime fun.
V/lion I stay with Grandma Dottie, I get
• o sleep en the couch. She always makes a
big bowl of popcorn and lets me stay up late.
She lets me use the remote-control switch for
her television. And she never yells if I
nge channels too fast. Grandma Dottie
always makes bedtime fun.,
Both my grandmas have a hobby. Grandma
Lacey likes to work in her garden. She says
it relaxes her. Grandma always lets me help
• : r relax in her garden. I chose pumpkin
( continued )
Her name was Dixie Bell for God's sakei
Sounds like a friggin' riverboati But her
name didn't make any difference to me. She
was a girl, a female, an opposite sex.
That was the main thing.
I was a freshman at Illinois State Uni-
versity, virtually free to "be", 5 except on
alternate weekends when I was carted home to
Pekin by my "chauffer," ray Dad. I was study-
ing to be u oominercial artist. Actually,
studying isn't the right word. Pretending
was more like it. I had plenty more impor-
tant things to learn in college besides art
history, anthropology, and chemistry.
Chemistry. That's where I met Dixie.
She was sitting across the aisle from me in
this giant, reverberating lecture hall. The
teacher, Mr. Glockenspiel, was scribbling
some foxier las on the board while he bounced
comments back at lis over Ms shoulder.
Aware of ray new college status, I got brave
and gave Miss Bell my best classroom line
out of the side of my mouth.
;, Whaddid he say?" I mumbled.
"I dunno," she said, tlirowing me a se-
cond by actually replying. I bounoed back
-uickly mesmerizing her with my superior wit.
"lie talks like a Nazi," I hissed.
"Ee lookc like one," she added. We both
giggled silently to each other like grade-
schoolers. All the time I was stealing
looks at her while pretending to take notes.
I was falling in love with her deep brown
eyes ; her shiny, auburn hair that fell across
her shoulders 5 her casual way of dressing
with a touch of femininity J lii
and a. billowy blouse.
I imagined us eating together in the
cafeteria, fondly feeding each other potato
chips, I saw under a tree in tbe Quad,
wrapped in our studies. I nearly had us mar-
ried and expecting, zxi.6. I didn ? t even know
her name . „ . yete
The bell ~?3ac; and I followed her out
of the building through a cea of students.
I finally caught up with her by some pre-
imagined treer?. "HeyV 41 - said lamely.
"Oh, hi!" she Said turnin.-y' around.
"That guy's the worsts" My redundancy
was beginning to show. She laughed and said s
"I know! This is the most boring class I've
had so far."
"Gee, thanks," I belted, following her
down the walk like a forlorn puppy.
"Oh, sorry," she answered sweetly, "I
didn't mean you."
"I know, I way just being weird," I
Hot sure how to take such a remark, she
just said, "oh."
"Eeyi Yon're walking the same direction
. as me!" I suddenly discovered. "Where ya
"I live at Atkin-Colby." I couldn't
believe it! We were practically neighbors!
"I Uve at Walker Ealll" I shrieked,
unable to contain my glee.
J.... /C'l-in jeans
I Own Two Grandmas, c«ntinuetl
s^edfl and gave Grandma the biggest one
f»r Halloween. I halped her turn it into
a jack-c—lantern. Grandma Lacey said I
was the best gardener in the whole world.
Grandma Dottie likes to paint. She
says it relaxes her. Grandma always lets
mo paint too. Once, I painted a picture
of me and Grandma taking a walk. After it
dried, she framed it and hung it on her
dining room wall. How, when people eat at
Grandma's, they can always see my painting.
Grandma Dottie said I was the best painter
in the whole world.
Both my grandmas make me feel special
in different and alike ways. I think I
own the best grandmas in the whole world;
Cuo Yadis, Baby, continued
"I've heard about that place," she
said as we merged int» the mainstream of
"Me too ... I hate it!" The pedes-
trian traffic was drawing us closer togeth-
er. "I've stayed away almost every evening
since I've been here. They've got this
initiation thing goin' on."
"That's so dumb," Dixie decreed.
"Yeah . . . they penned the guys next
t* me into their room so they couldn't
i-rfc out. Then they called them on the
phone and left the receiver off thier end
so the fools couldn't call out anywhere."
"why didn't the M.A. do something."
she was asking as we came to the parting
of our ways.
,! Ch, he's in on it too," I told her
with a look of disgust.
"Well, good luck," she said, begin-
ning to turn.
"Thanks," I said, stopping at the
corner. "If you don't see me in class,
you'll know they got to me." She tossed
a smile my way, waved her hand, and yelled,
"Bye." She ran across the street and
disappeared into the revolving doors of her
I dropped my books in my room and
headed up tfi the next floor to see if my
new friend, Ken, was ready to eat lunch.
He was at his desk already busy with home-
work. His roommate was there too. Jim
E-ixa&gr^ a st»cky dag» from the south side
•f Chicago, had c#me down to ISTJ to study
women in particular. He had "playboy"
written all over him from his half-button-
ed shirts to his pinkie rings, to his
"Are you doing your homework now':" I
asked, trying to seem semi-cool in front
of Pirazzo, whose streetwise attitude made
this small-town boy feel like the kid he
was. "It's lunchtime."
"Hey, Mister!" Ken said following my
load, "I wanna stay »n top of things."
"Better buy a new wardrobe then.,"
came a cutting remark from Pirazzo 's side
of the room. He was Ijriung on his bed in
his Jockey shorts and toweling his
curly hair dry. He let out a clasr ' o
Italian giggle and grabbed his toe-
nail clippers off the back of the bol-
ster. "Run along now, kids," he add-
ed trying to be funny.
"Yes, Mommy," Ken whispered as we
left. In the stairwell, we bo 4 let
out a big guffaw and raced for J_e
cafeteria. Ken was a real scuare guy,
but g»od-natured and funny in a corny
sjrt of way. He dressed 'conservative-
ly! a buttoned-down shirt, clean iuk
jeans and white Adidas. He was any-
thing but flashy.
I met this girl in chemistry
class," I told him when we got to
"All right!" he said opening
"She's super-cute!" I added with
"Decent!" Ken replied with his
She lives in Atkin-Colby, and her
name's . . . oh, wow! I forgot to ask
what her name was I "
"That . . . might help," came
his barb between bites.
"Real funny," I said as I situa-
ted my food in front of me. "I'll
ask her '.Thursday . , but, anyway,"
I went on, "she's super-cute."
Ken looked at me and rolled his
eyes. "I heard.," he said.
Thursday, I found out her .: je
was Dixie Bell. ''Oh, well, ; I told
myself. "She's super-cute."
It wasn't long before I was tell-
ing everyone about her. I told my room-
mate, who tried to act interested. '
knew when I had seen his name the
first time, he was going to be one dull
guy. John Oiler. He was an "ag"
major and he had a girlfriend whom I
laughingly referred to as "the
"John's having the horse over to-
night. You wanna go see a movie -
I was talking to Dave Widby, and old
friend from my hometown who was alsr
going to ISU. He lived up above ms
in another box cf a room. He had been
popular since grade school and our
friendship had waned until we found our-
selves in Normal together.
"Oh, well, can't dance," he
said apathetically. He was always
saying, "can't dance." It was his
thing. Supposedly, it meant, "I
might as well, since there's nothing
else to do."
An hour later, I met him in the
lobby where the drone of the tej M--
sion and the click of pool balls /ore
forever being combined. Ve wall^c out-
side into the orange evening air and
headed down Main Street.
» • • ■
uo Yadis, Baby, continued
Across our cooped~up campus , fall was
sotting in. It wouldn't be long before the
streaking era' e broke and full-frontal
nudity would become the latest fashion.
Meanwhile, up the road at the local thea-
ter, a new X-a?ated film was playing. It
was a ftreign film, complete with sub-
titles and unpronounceable* credits. Last
Tango In Paris , starring Marlon Brando
and Maria Schneider was about to be dropped
in my lap.
I had heard all about it in my film
arts class another one of my "rinky-dink"
courses, like painting 1, which my father
compared to "basket-weaving and sandbox."
My fellow film buffs who had seen it were
saying how controversial the subject mat-
ter was. Others were calling it outright
pornography. After that sentance, my curi-
osity was aroused.
We had only seen one film in the class
so far; Fellini's La Strada . I could real-
ly relate to the main character played by
Anthony (^uinn. His name was Zampano, a
second-rate strongman in a thir a -rate cir-
cus. He reminded me a lot of my dad. But
that film, as great as it was, was mild
escapism compared to what I was about to
Twfc hours later, I walked out into the
comparatively boring streets of Normal, Il-
linois with Dave. We hardly said a word to
each other on the way back to the dorm. In
one cinematic experience, my view of the
world around me, the naivete I had brought
with me from that small white community
forty miles away, all prior experiences, vi-
carious and otherwise, had been reduced to
The vagabond character whom Brando
portrayed elicited from deep within me a
hitherto unknown feeling of 'comraderie '
which I had never been able to define. The
tawdriness of the settings, the brutal hon-
esty of the language, the uncompromising
sex scenes all spoke to me with a new
truth'. And, being the easily influenced
fellow I was then, I longed to be that char-
acter, to be down and out and Brando in
I went again to see it by myself the
next evening — to live again within those
frames within the camera's eye. It was that
second night, when I was scrutinizing every
After a lot of fumbling of pages,
I ascertained that the r uestion. he
was asking was, "Y/hither thou go est."
or "Where are gou goi_ig' : '" Only he was
saying it Brando-style. I wante^
that style in the worst way and I want-
ed it overnight I
I bought the soundtrack to the
movie and played it incessantly. Gato
3arbieri's sleazy sax solos echoed
through the halls. But it was no sood
trying to be cool alone. I decided it
would be truly to ask Dixie to see
Last Tang* with me.
I announced to all who could ap-
preciate my macho motivation that Dix
ie and I had a date. After the jokes
about her name subside 1 I reminded
them that she was super-cute. She had
accepted as if it was no big deal. I
thought, 'That's cool.''
Ken played jealous for my amuse-
ment. John Oiler sat unimpressed un-
derneath his horse. Dave merely dug
it. And Piraz o offered his room for
me to make my moves in. He had ..is own
heavy ^rdate planned at an off- campus
address. Gladly, he gave me his theo-
ries on first dates, where to go, what
to do, and when to do it. He agreed
that LaBt Tango was a perfect beginning.
It would set the mood. And then, after-
wards, we could head back to his room
for a little relaxation. He suggested
I play the sound-. track of the film \
while we made out on the bed. The rest
was up to me and my new-found charmm
Perhaps it would have blossomed
into something more mature had it not
been for one more tip from Pirazno — a
joint the size of my index finger!
Since coming to that toun of learning,
I had been introduced by certain ques-
tionable acquaintances to that elu-
sive subculture known as "potheads."
I was told it would help my painting
and I thought it would add to my
sense of worldliness. So, when the
hallocinogen was pointed in my face, I
uickly deposited it in my shirt
I didn't really need it by the
time we got back to the room. My
initial nervousness had left me sotn
after the movie began. Dixie ac 'lally
scene, that I caught the brief but immeasu-
rab?_y hip remark that I ached to emit myself, liked the film. I was glad I had tin'
It was near the end when Maria Schnei- fured the experience with a varied
der finally decides she's going to leave
Marlon. She heads for the door of the a-
partcient and Brando comes casually walking
out of the shadows and says, "<uo Vadis,
Baby " And I thought, "How cool can you
get:" I didn't have the slightest idea
what it meant, but I knew it was cool;
The next day I headed for the library
to find a Latin dictionary. The reference
room was packed with students — some with
looks of panic on their faces, others blank-
ly astute. I located the dictionary flec-
tion, and found ray ^hnnmi tongue.
degree of critical acclaim as we head-
ed for the theater. Despite part ore
of the "Great Date" going so well, \
immediately pulled the number from my
pocket as Pirazzo's door slammed shu*.
"You get high?" I asked, pretend=
ing it wae the most normal question in
the world. She looked at me a little
"Urn . . .not really, but don't
let dip stop you," she said. I thought,
"Mox-e for me!" and fired the stogie up.
I rtffex*ed her a beer from Jim's c?..
Quo Vadis, Baby, continued
cooler in the closet, she sipped at it
while I got myself one. The joint fell a-
part about halfway through, but I had al-
ready reached ray unnecessary nirvana.
After a mammoth guzzle of brew, I made
my way across her body. She obliged me for
awhile until I turned into Marlon Brando.
I didn't rip off her panties! I didn't ask
her to get the butter! I just tried to put
my hands down her pants.
Without a word, she got up from under-
neath me. I fell off the bed and reached
\for my beer- She was at the door ready to
leave 3 when she realized she had forgot-
ten her purse. She went back to get it and
I stumbled to the doorway, my arm reaching
to block the exit and hold me up.
"Quo vadis, Baby?" I said, feeling
like a foreign film.
'"What?" she asked, not under rid-
"Where va goin'?" I whined in my
"I gotta go home," she said and
knocked my arm out of the way. She was
off down the hall before I knew it. Af-
ter she left, I remembered I had for
gotten to T>lay the sound-track. I
blindly slipped the record on Pirazzo*s
stereo and leaned back with what was left
of both our beers- The sleepy sax
poured into the room. > T o credits rolled
by as I gazed blankl across the room.
No shot panning out the window and into
the trees. No re-introduction showing
who plaved who. And underneath ray chin,
there was no white-lettered transla-
tion when I mumbled to myself, ; Oh
well, can't dance.
For pen and reaper
Viva le Sartre
Writing el fresco
Calling it art
Eitched and moaned
Raked in the cash
He says it best
When he writes of diseas;
x Eyeless and gaga
J' iew all the angles
Except for a duck's
A JUNGLE END
For weeks he had been stalking, float-
ing noiselessly in his single-passenger boat
through the dense jungle foliage, gliding
stealthily, slowly, on the still, green wa-
ter. Day after day, he watched, quietly
paddling his craft around one ess-curve af-
t=±r another, POiu-Rxn^ shoadily ■fchi-ough the
City winking at night
black streets cooling to 82
the day's heat rising in shimmers
a dog barks in the distance
next door, a radio turned low,
breathes a soft sax sons';
the notes oil the darkness
a sheen on 3 a.m. fire escanes
a siren coming out of silence
approaches, then turns away
back into silence
the squall of a baby
two — no, three buildings off
then sax a-ain
my eyelids drop slowly
noises blur, then stop;
I dream of jungles
and birds of paradise.
immense leafy tunnel that choked the sun
from the river. At times, he sto ned
bankside, the boat halting abrupt „y
against a lush growth of tall gr c
a muffled thud. Then, he would 1
intently to the incessant buzz
jungle, the buzz of an infinite ._
insects. He would listen intently,
straining to hear the one sound he antici-
pated with such Dassion. Dav aft°r ay,
the buzz began in a whisper, the:. ,;rew
as the afternoon heat thickened.
When he returned to camp each nigh J
his eardrums threatened to exploie;
the buzz roared round him as he lay
waiting for sleep, then continued, its
A Jungle End. continued
denfenin#vj*hythm in his dreams.
If he didn't find one soon, he would
go mad from the "buzzing, he vas sure, or
if not the "buzzing, the humidity, 'the
thick, sweet-salt humidity sucking out his
^breath hour after hour, day after day.
On the third day of the fourth week, he
finally lieard it — a soft splash just
ahead. Eis body stiffened; sweat gave a
glistening sheen to his face and chest. He
.waited. The buzz reached a crescendo.
\Had "he imagined it? Was his mind playing
He waited, rigid, barely breathing.
Then, almost inaudibly, another 30ft splash
lapped. He turned his head slowly in the
direction of the splash and saw a trail of
ws+.er parting in a gentle swath. The swath
quivered, then rinpled quietly back together
again, leaving a blurred line shivering si-
lently over the path of his prey.
The hunter smiled, squelching his de-
sire to scream for joy — a desire that raced
""through all the nerves in his skin, a de-
sire that grabbed his . stomach and squeezed
it like a python wrapped around a piglet.
He might have squealed, had he not the ex-
perience behind him that automatically
paralyzed the -oarts of his body he wouldn't
need, while simultaneously alerting the
parts he did need. Adrenolin, the quick-
silver hormone, raced through his blood.
If he were more relaxed, he would have
thought, "Ah, after four weeks, success.
Success!" But he wasn't relaxed. He
seemed not to be thinking at all, merely
reaching for his gun, s lowly \ quietly,
Seising it to his shoulder, pulling back
the firing hammer ever so gradually til it
\caught with an almost noiseless click. His
hand moved down the stock as tenderly as a
-gloved museum hand caresses an Incan shard.
His index finger locked in place on the trig-
gt-i as he sighted down the barrel, slowly
following the quivering line rippling across
the river several yards in front of him.
It wasn't jus t the money the horn
would fetch, although the amount would be
considerable, and he would certainly find
"K^ys to spend it. But the money was a dis-
tant end, not nearly as rewarding as the
\hjyuit itself, not even faintly as exciting
As this moment waiting his chance to
\ In this jungle lived the rarest sr>ecies
Of rhino; their numbers ahd dropped to less
than two-hundred, although an accurate count
could never be made because the animals were
exceedingly secretive. It was not known
whether or not the massive slaughter of
their herds had driven them into hiding; what
was known was that it took weeks, sometimes
even months, just to spot one.
He had spotted one now, and it was a
m^re stone's throw away.
He watched as the quivering line of wa-
ter appiMtch. the shore. The tip of a
horn ooksd through the river. The hunter's
finger tensed on the trigger. Easy . .
easy, he whispered to himself. C'mon
out nice and slow, Baby, nice and
First the head, then the shou? -
ders raised up out of the water as ^he
,. animal climbed the bank. Its front
legs appeared, then the bulk of its mag-
nificent-torso ■ It vas huge, but the
hunter's elephant gun could dron it
with one well-'nlaced shot.
/ Completely out of the water now,
the rhino paused for a moment and slow-
lv swung its head around. The animal
faced the hunter, locking eyes. A
split second later, the hi nter fired.
/The sound of the shot exploded through
the jungle, followed by a sharp, ago-
nizing squeal. A hit!
The hunter ' s blood pounded in hi ■
temples. For a moment, the insect buzz
had stopned and all he heard was the
roar of a freight train in his ears.
A moment of jungle silence, as every-
thing alive stopped to observe tne sud-
den passing of one of its own, w lie
a dirge throbbed quick-tempo through
the hunter's bloodstream.
The rhino, still starine- at the
hunter, stood unmoving for a second,
a second that seemed an eternity.
XThen, trembling, its legs buckled, and
it crashed to the ground.
As its body met the jungle floor,
armor -plated skin fell away like the
shell of a great cracked egg from which
an ancient pteradactyl fledg ling were
about to emerge. Instead of a bird,
though, a single-horned white stallion
horse struggled free, then raised up
on its hind legs and snorted into the
The hunter's eyes bulged wid-- 3 as
his gun fell clattering
into the boat, tripped, and fired a
round directlv into his skull.
The unicorn snorted again, then
galloped into the jungle. The buzz
of insects roared.
Judy Bel field
Popcorn man stepclimbing aisles
between bleachers of summer
baseball cap askew
and grinning through a stubbl^d ch'n
raspy-voiced as a tramp in the mo ' Ing
his hazel eyes sun-shot
For a second, cheers drown the s*t dium"
and the popcorn man is lost
like a cause in a close of anat'\ —
he dreams he's smacked the winning-run
in a tie ^ame of the Series;
the dream confirmed
as the fans reseat themselves
and the hawker, still stvanidng,
. •* lrtim.-indfl i ''Fb pxrara / "
ODE TO A TV JUNKIE
MY ACCEPTANCE SPEECH
Oh, I have to work today,
What am I to do?
Ev:*fy's leaving Biff again,
Today on Channel 2.
Please, boss, please have a heart
Let me off tonight.
The Bears are visiting Miami,
It's football Monday night.
Another thing, if I may ask,
Nov don't be mad at me:
-There's a movie on tomorrow night
I'd reallv love to see.
Also, coming Thursday night
I think on Channel 9 3
Thev're showing classic reruns of
VEhe great show, "What's My Line?"
And then there's just one more thing.
I ^eed the weekend o£f .
I plan on watching all four rounds
Of ladies' championship golf.
What do vou mean, I'm fired?
Weil, that's okay, I guess.
The World Series comes on in a couple of
It will give me tim^ to rest.
Lights out — everyone is going to bed
They all say their bon-nuits
Dashing up the squeaky stairs, their
mumbles and hot lust glide down
the bannister through the darkness.
The door closes and all is quiet.
Drif ing into the stage where
nothingness is pleasant, invasion
of sound punctuates my ear. The
bed above screams shrill notes from
the pounding force of two entangled
Minutes later, the meticulous
squeaks slow down, and finally cease.
All is at peace in the quiet darkness
I wonder, before letting nothingness
overtake me, if it was just a dream.
Judy Bel field
My heart wore a mask
from the beginning —
a. facade to hide
When I finally go to heaven
I'll get an Academy Award.
I'll step up to the podium and r.
I'll look out towards the multit
Then I'll wait til there's a silence
and speak to all ray
"I'd like to thank my Mom and Dad for
trying to raise me right.
I'd like to thank my many lovers for
getting me through the night.
I'd like to thank that slew of siblings
for sharing -puberty.
I'd like to thank my influential
friends for liberty.
I'd like to thank the set designers
for their neverending taste.
I'd like to thank the Naw for the time
they made me waste.
I'd like to thank the screenplay writers
for churning out the lines,
I'd like to thank my gurus for showing
me the signs.
I ; d like to thank the make-up artists
for cleaning up my zits.
I'd like to thank the stuntmen who
fell into the pits.
I'd like to thank the special-ef "ects
crew when I dropped windowp-:ne.
I'd like to thank my analysts for
cleaning up my brain.
''A special thanks to Lisa , my em.b onic
Now that I am dead and scone, I truly
wish her well.
And also thanks to Gina for geing such
I bet she gets a best supporting act-
ress award for that.
And thanks to all the little people
in my enic life.
And I would like to thank you.
but I dichrt have a wife.
I think I have talked long enough,
but one thing you must know,
I bet you didn't realize you. were
extras in my show I"
the emptiness behind*
a jack-o-lantern face
sharply cut and angular
a ludicrous smile-
now three weeks on the front por v
the eyes and mouth
toward gutless insides
where the wax of several cane" c
each a different color
pools cold and hard
at the bottom —
turning to mush, waiting
for hooligans to grab it up
and splatter in the street.
jW w^f Km 44 VwA **4*
Pelt swIW M- *« sim
I sf*k ®f «gHgn *e He
•.Wit w4k fotne *ery s!m»
Am *»*N &£ «* 4*ra*
Well b«efe mp mk. fee b«wt
Well Ivu <h» s#e *e*>
AU ta^ff »*«**" *•" &**** 1*^fe-
A*4 uselt heW^fiil -G* -Hie 4*
S©e how I betray you
spilling you on paper
for everyone to see-
worse, to Judge.
All those years you spent burrowing
piling earth over your secrets —
so meticulous, my dear,
are for r ught;
OI K K K KXl l
in a few short days
I have scooped away
the camouflage, the soil,
have uncovered your bones
and set them out to bleach.
Yes, I betray you
but not for silver . . .
I need to breathe.
AmA All u**» «fe is /v^*
Till X Ws£ mv UI,U M-A
Sgrwric, mill W jUr 4<*m*M rn
Aa x'H -rtcoy 4fet best x «An f
Vfcat4 kill A wrmAl Urn! Al \/
They competed for this
bitter, Ever since, J
Hot too long ago,
had once "been a thief*
with stolen money, J.
Scott Wiaslow is sitting on -a sofa in his nicely
foxnidhod penthonse* Srexsrthixig ia th® penthc= e i :
©f high quality* And to top .it off, m has a
paying job, Soott has enjoyed his expensive tast
until now, Els! life has become a living s 2S3?e
®\?®t since a bitter James Kurlow came bae] Into hi
Soott and Janes um& to be beet frieac . soil
fat© would have it, they both .fell in lev® with I ja© g:
girl's affection, Scott came out the victor, lea Jmb&s
me& has had on® main goal- — to get revenge,
James discovered a terrible secret from Scott'. Sooi
If that were not enough, everything Scott c tiat sea be
has been losing this information to blaskasaii Sot fct«
s Evil Deeds, continued
Scott can't understand why James still
holds a grudge. The girl of their affec-
tion left Scott after finding about his be-
ing a thief. Although Scott has a good-
paying job, he can't afford both rent and
blackmail payments. As a result, Scott
is thumbing through the newspaper. A
strange ad that reads, "Evil Deeds, you
need a teriible deed accomplished call
us," catches Scott's eye.
Scott thinks to himself, "This has to
be a joke, Only an idiot would put an ad
like this in the paper?" Soon he realizes
that if the ad is true, his problem could
be solved. He . picks up the phone and
dials the number under the ad. He has a
brief conversation and writes down an ad-
He drives his car to the address he
wrote down. He walks up a flight of stairs
Pointing to a door on his left ,
Stark says, "Mr. Barker went out the
back way. All of my client?, leave
the back way, once I am through with
their case. Now, let's get down to
business. Who do you want bump-:
Startled by Mr. Stark's bl
Scott says, "You sure get to th~
"Well, that is what you are
for, isn't it, Mr. Winslow?" say.
fiendish Mr. Stark.
"Why, yes," sa-"-s Scott with a
slight '' chuckle. "Excuse me. I
don't mean to ' 'sound rude. I mean .
. . well, that is . . . you take this
so lightly. "'
''Well, it is what I do for a liv-
The only reason I treat it like
"and opens the building door. He walks through nothing is because I do it all the time.
the corridors until he comes to a door that
i\ia.ds, "Evil Deeds, Nigel Stark." He opens
the door and walks into the room. As he
tells the secretary his name, Scott sees
a man waiting. Scott sits next to the man
and says, "Hi, I'm Scott Winslow. How
did you hear about this place?"
The man doesn't seem to want to social-
ize and sits there as if in deep thought.
He looks around with suspicion and quickly
says, "I guess I can trust you. You wouldn't
be waiting here if Mr. Stark didn't trust
you. I read the ad in the paper. I had
m;, wife killed off. She was a wicked woman.''
All she did was nag. Oh, by the way, I'm
^George Barker. Everything I did was wrong.
I'm ^,lad she's dead. No one deserved to
die more than her. What are you here for?"
\ Scott is almost in shock. He can hard-
1;. believe what he had just heard. He then
thinks to himself, "What am I in shock for?
I want to kill off James!"
Not wanting anyone to hear, Scott whis-
pers his answer, "I'm having my blackmailer
George smiles and says, "Oh, that's won-
derful! What is this person blackmailing
Scott, realizing this man has a screw
loose, gives a short reply, "It's a long
George then says, "Oh. It doesn't re-
ally matter, as long as Mr. Stark gets
the job done. And he will, you can count
The secretary interrupts their conver-
sation by saying, "Mr. Barker, Mr. Stark
will see you now."
George Barker bids Scott a farewell
and enters Nigel Stark's office. Scott waits
for his turn to see Mr. Stark. He waits for
George Barker to come out. He waits and
waits, but no George Barker. Suddenly, he
hears the secretary tell him to go into the
When Scott enters the office, he sees
kn evil-looking man sitting behind a large
bxack desk. It was, of course, Nigel Stark.
He looked like the kind of person that would
kill his own mother. Anc he probably did.
Scott, wondering where George Barker was,
asks, "Where is the. man vha ramekin here
let ' s get back to business , : ' says
Stark in an icy tone.
"Well, I guess I should start
at the beginning," Scott starts off.
"You see, I used to have this friend
in^ college. His name was James Kurlow.
We both fell for the same girl,
I got the girl, James got mad. Some
time ago, he found out about a secret
that I've been hiding. Now, he's
blackmailing me with it. I can't cor
up with the money. This seems to be
my only choice."
''1 understand," says Mr. Stark
in a somewhat evil tone. "You con't
have to worry, I'll take care of this
matter. Now, all I need to kno^ is
what college you attended."
"U of I," Scott says without hesi-
"Ah, well, that takes care of that,
says Mr. Stark. "Now all you have to
do is sign this contract."
Scott, without reading it, sir-is
the contract. Mr. .Stark gives c copy
of the contract to Scott. Scott asks,
"When do I have to pay you?"
Mr. Stark gives his reply, '"I will
expect payment just before our busi-
ness relationship is over. That
is what Mr. Barker was doing today.
I will see you later. Au revoir."
"That's French, isn't it? r asks
"Yes, Mr. Winslow, it is," savs
Mr. Stark sarcastically. Scott fir ally
The next morning, Scott wakes up
and thinks that yesterday wrs just a
dream. He gets out of bed, takes a
shower, and eats breakfast just 'ike
any other day. While eating breakfast,
Scott reads the newspaper. He notices
a headline that reads, "James Ku^Jow
Dies of a Sudden Heart Attack. 1 ' flcott
is horrified and realizes yester ^ay
was not a dream. He feels guilt ir for
hiring Mr. Stark.
Scott reads on and thinks to him-
self, "It can't be my fault, he
died of a heart-attark--natiiral causes.
But he vn.q in perfect health. He_jC.ould
Evil Deeds, continued
have been poisoned, making it appear to be
a heart attack. But James was in his car
at the time. I've got to see Mr'. Stark.
He'll have the answers."
A half -hour later, he arrives at Mr.
vSuurk*s office. Scott barges into the
office where Mr. Stark is consulting a
slient. Scott rushes the client along,
pushing him out the door.
"What is the meaning of this?" shouts
Mr. Stark. "You have no right to do that
to my clients."
"Blow it out your ear," Scott says an-
vgiily. "I want to know if you killed James.'
"Yes, I did," Mr. Stark says coolly-
"Then you did poison him!" Scott says
"Now, Mr. Winslow, I didn't poison
him," Mr. Stark says.
'That doesn't make any sense," Scott
starts off. "How did you cause his
"Magic, Mr. Winslow, magic," Mr. Stark
says . through a devilish laughter.
You're crazy!" Scott savs starting to
become frightened. "Look, I'm getting
out of here. I don't ever want to see or
hear from you again. I'll send a check in
Scott heads for the front door, but is
.stopped when Mr. Stark says, "Mr. Winslow,
the back way. Our business relationship is
over so you must go out the back way."
"What difference does it make?"
Scott asks, becoming more frightened of
what Mr. Stark vill do.
"Out the back way, Mr. Wir. ■',
out the back way!" yells Mr. St
his eyes flashing with anger.
"You're a nut! I'm getting out of
here," syas Scott, filled witn fear.
He tries to open the door >/hile Mr
Stark|keeps repeating the same phrase.
The door is jammed and Scott is unable
to get out. He pounds at the door,
crying at every pound. He falls to
his knees, tiring from the poun. ?.
Scott can't stand it any 1 ^er.
He has to get out some way, any --',
the back way. He runs towards the
door and opens it. To his horror.
there is no floor beyond the door!
Flames fill up what should be a room.
Scott turns around, looking at *■'•?,
Stark. He is horrified once more oy
Mr. Stark's change in appearance. Mr.
Stark is now wearing a black robe and
cape.;- He now has pointed ears and
horns, sprouting from his head.
Mr. Stark gives an evil lat^hter
as Scott is pulled into the flames
by an unknown force. The door closes
and Mr. Stark goes to his phone.
"Send in the next client, Eve," r syas
into the intercom.
W. K. Kahle
Rut-colored rot £ u "t
an amber anesthetic,
can't teach a soul
how to cut the raging flow
of pulsating blood, flooding —
a dungeon-like brain
housing musty, ancient lies
holding prisoner tarnished truths:
a carnal hindrance, a sinner's excuse,
won't prove to practi ce a
single, valid use . . .
for those clanging lost changes
VLcwiing in the winds,
that burn in ruin, save for love,
chained alive inside a Poesque memory.
A wormy mind can't leave Tillie's Bar
the madness carried on that far
mid-western wheat fields are wailing
a -ry for justice-
just like a black heart's steely regret
he could have left at, eleven
-that, cirrous ed_ June , '37.
Death is death,
vengeance is merit worshipped —
— Didn't mean to do it
always loathed a Special,
the cloek ticked twelve . . .
his lady soaked in scotch
forming a stabbing collision.
... A sordid gem
flocked to another institution,
leaving those guilty cravings left
to scream . . .
The bullet used to chew on
.might place some leverage on the paljn,-
never acknowledging feeling.
Those reciprocated senses —
OH YEAH . . . IT'S TRUE—
she was the_ lucky one .
Judy Bel fi aid
The "blessings of madmen
ma i e on holy days
in whispered tones
•through incense-thick center aisles
are stained on my soul
^waiting, like omens,
The madmen's fingers
raised in signs of crosses
disintegrate in memory
reintegrate like ghosts
taking on flesh
then dissolve again.
Premises I made
hover like evil spirits
in the desert
forty suns and forty moons ago —
promises exchanged for blessings
with Charlie Mans on eyes. • ■
A BASEBALL FAN'S VIEW
Basketball's such a boring game,
The .guys are all too tall.
They don't even need to leave the f
To dunk the friggin' ball.
Football ■ s such a violent game,
Someone's always hurt.
All they do is break some bones
And wait for blood to spurt.
Hocksy's such a phony game,
They skate around the rinks.
They have the grace of Orson Welles
And fight like Leon Spiaks.
And now we come to baseball,
Our nation's greatest game.
The only sport that I would pay
To see its Hall of Fame.
Gehrig, Williams, and The Babe,
Rose, Mantle, -nd Mays,
Names that will forever be with me
Until my dying days.
There ! s a drive . . . way back . .
Left-center field . . .
It might be . . .
It could be . . .
A HOME RUN!
This is school, you see, and he must behave! HOOOOLY COW!
He's gonna put me in an early grave.
"Mrs. Lake!" she cried, "About your son
'le's just been having too much fun!
Again today, he disrupted the class
By talking too loud and running too fast.
3urely you must know of some way
To make him mind me, starting TODAY!"
I smiled to myself as she told me what's
Jo one could know him as well as I do.
I k-ow just how she feels when she deals
with my son;
iis snergy level can't be outdone.
'o I said to the teacher, "I svmpathize,
^lease call me whenever these problems
"letveen you and me , let ' s work out a plan
'o help him behave the best that he can."
remembered a time twenty years ago
'hen another conference went just about so.
V teacher was angry 'cause I had been bad.
[ disrupted her class and made her real mad.
Last night I sat awake
Reading an out -dated book
With MTV on low.
None of it really stayed though.
I couldn't keep my thoughts off you.
Sure, I've dated before —
Once or twice —
But n^ver before has the prospect kept
So tonight, if I se°m to
Know in advance
What : sgoing to happen
It ' s because I lived through
Countless variations of our date
Somewhere between ps^es 15 and 187.
^o my mother was sent a nice long letter
\slting for help so I would act better.
/ve reached a conclusion that makes me feel glad
ly eon is like me, he can't be all bad!
PONDERING INSOMNIA II
"Well), Therese, it's nine-thirty."
"Yeah. You guys leave at ten, right?"
"Yep," affirmedJennie without making
an effort to move. She and her best friend
had been swimming for the last hour . They
were now sitting on the edge of the pool
•talking while their suits dried.
"It's weird that you guys go at night,"
Jennie laughed. "C'mon, Therese, this
is my family that you're talking about* no-
thing is too strange, We're going to
•beat "the heat,' as Dad puts it. Well, I
guess I have to go. I don't want to start
my week as a captive on a family vacation
"Well, have fun, Jen."
Turning to give Therese the full effect
of her look b Jennie pulls a face. "Therese,
my whole family is going to be there! All
of those chiefs and no Indians. I doubt it
will be fun!"
'See ya in a week, kid."
'Well, don't be surprised if you get
a phone call from Union Station. I might
just end my vacation if I can't take it. r
They both laugh and Jennie heads home.
I guess I'm going to have to write you
to keep my sanity.
The ride down was .exactly the way I
thought it would be. Emily couldn't sit
st^'ll for even one minute. So Na and I
never got to sleep. Amy and Mom fell asleep (A wick with no fuse)
Since I've known you,
I've discovered many things about
I can actually survive in a rc?om
not ankle-deep in various forms of
There actually is life
awajf from the TV screen.
I've found a funny little monster
living in my stomach
who scratches with long nails
and tickles by wagging its whif -s.
I've always known I had the caps.city
I just never suspected the capacity
to be boundless.
SPARE ME TFE NOBE
Spare me the noze
Quit the cookie
And the corny
Don't walk away mad
Don't think you're had
Deep down inside we all know that you'r
With vour totality shoes
in the front and Dad turned the radio to
one of his Ethel Merman stations. We went
through St. Louis at about 3 a.m. My whole
family woke up and piled to one side of the
cax- to see the Golden Arch. What a bunch
of tourists! We had breakfast in Branden.
How humiliating. We opened the car doors
and kind of fell out onto the pavement.
Then we smoothed our wrinkled clothes and
combed our Ihair in the parking lot and
went; into the restaurant. Aunt Linda,
Uncle Jim, and their kids ate with us.
It was nearly 8 a.m. before we were to
Lafiipe, the town where the resort is located.
All the way through Lampe (a small town with
one gas station) my Mom drew our attention
the changes since she had been there last
''Now, that's new; look a grocery store.
■ Oh, and coming up is the craft place with
the bottles in the trees. Oh, they've add-
ed a new porch . . . ,: Ho-hum.
Now, I'm watching the little girls swim
but Naomi and Emily are nere too. So I just
look up and count life jackets every couple
•of minutes. The rest of my aunts and uncles
get here tonight. Yippee Skippy. Bye for
Everyone arrived, yesterday. "Grandma
The orange hair guy
A polka-dot prince
His jokes make you wince
The kids play his games
(Become primal shames) in their dre:
He comes laughing
He comes lurching
He comes searching
For the weakness
(For the bleakness)
And the blandn«ss
(And the meekness)
Our mind's first memory
A screaming Bozo face
A screaming Bozo nose
A screaming Bozo hair-do
(and screaming Bozo "
and Grandpa picked up John on thex 1 " way
down. The Bible-beaters and the:.- .wo
kids arrived on the scene* They &. .,t
straight to the cabin on the end. Pete and
Sue and Justin came in.
Justin is such a cute kid, which is
what Pete and Sue think about me. Fun, I
like being treated like I'm 2.
We had a sing-along last night. The
whole family joined in, but after two or
three "Old Family Favorites," we ended up
s5nging hymns. My requests fell on deaf
ears;, children, after all, must be seen and
not heard. I didn't even know most of the
.hymns. Apparently, my Catholic upbringing
was musically inadequate.
I went swimming in the lake today. It
spells like fish. I smelled like fish, but
I was so hot I didn't care. Five minutes of
relief, then we were dive-bombed by the big-
gest, meanest horse-fly I've ever seen.
Emily almost went crazy shrieking all the
way to the cabin. Na and I were right on
her heels, swinging our towels like lassoes ,
let-ting out a shriek or two ourselves. We
dove into the cabin and slammed the door only
to find that the fly had followed us inside.
Emilv started to cry. I grabbed a shoe and
pulverizfd the bull'"'.
Oh God, Threse. I think the whole state
of Missouri is crawling. I knew Illinois
has ticks and chiggers, but I don't feel
compelled to carry an umbrella under the
trees. Aunt Linda found a tick on Jaime's
head. Ugh. I'll stick to sunny, open areas
from now on.
P^ter and I stopped yesterd?.y at the
feait shop. Dad gave me a list of things
to get, and I, having trouble identifying
anything more complicated than a rod and
reel, gave the list to the clerk. I knew
we had to get night crawlers (can you imagine
playing for earth worms?) but imagine my
surprise when the fellow asked, "Where
d' y'all want your crickets?"
I was so appalled. Dad had put 3 dozen
crickets on the list I didn't trouble myself
to read. God, I hate bugs! Before I could
stop it, my mind conjured up images of live
crickets in my bare hands. I shudder and
ask the gentleman what he would suggest.
He points out an assortment of containers.
Finally, deciding on the 86<£-remodeled-ice-
cream-carton-cricket-conta-ner, the clerk
took it to the back to count crickets. Pe-
ter carried the package out to the car., and
I worried all the way home that the crickets
I can't believe I've turned into such a
sissy! When I was little, my isisters
and I soent whole afternoons turning logs
ana rocks to find enough worms for Dad's
fishing trips. I baited rav hook with a
worm this morning and nearly had an anxiety
attack. We were out on the boat fishing and
I couldn't ,1ust run in and wash my hands.
John was putting crickets on his hook.
T Mad -• him cast from the other sid-,*; no
cricket was going to fly over my head.
Somehow, I tangled my line. He set his
pole down and haloed me out of ray mess.
Turning to thank him, I caught si -ht of
the cricket, hook and line, making its
way up his pant leg. That was it. I
quit fishing and went to the far sad of
the boat away from my f amily and their
Oh, it's raining now. I'm going
shopping with my mom. Gotta go.
TEAM! GOD WE'RE LEAVING TONIGHT! >
It rained all day yesterday. Today,
it's really warm and really moist,
perfect millipede weather. Millipedes
came out in droves. I have never seen
anything like this. This place is mov-
ing. Everywhere the eve can see, little
millipedes are rowing their carlike
legs and moving right along. The kids
are having a hey-day stamping millipedes
with every step. I hope I don't die be-
fore we leave.
Amy explained to me, "If you cut
them in half, one half goes one W3V and
the other goes the opposite way." I
found part of her experiment rowing a-
cross the cabin floor. I swent it out
with the broom. Half an hour later, the
othe' half rowed under the bathroom
door. I was sitting on the toilet,
choking back a sob.
As far as I'm concerned, just read
ing this ought to weaken the ord: ry
soul. After experiencing every bit of
this and more, my family sat around last
night making Jokes, recounting earlier
instances describing in graphic detail
bugs Pn d buglike activities--
smashing them, eating them, finding them
in your clothes, etc. I requested
that we change the subiect several times.
I even started a couple of different
conversations myself. But always the
subject turned back to bugs. These
people are morbid. The timin^ on this
was beautiful. Just wh^n I was sure I
could take no more, I thought I heard
a chirping noise Sunder the window.
Upon closer examination, I found that
damned 86<£-remodeled-ice-cream--c art on-
cricket-container on the table! I
started to pick up the container in-
tending to move it off of the dinner
table, and the lid slipped. Oh God, I
slammed it on the table and was out of
the door before I could think straight.
Everyone started to laugh.
Nearing my limit, I thought I'd
better take a walk and settl? down. A
moth buzzed me and I started to cr r .
Walking under a tree, a drop of **i ber
dripped on my arm. I nearly Jumped out
of my skin, landing from that junm, ry
foot slipped out of my thong. I seem 2
to step on something mushv like a mil-
lipede, but I'll never know because I
didn't have the stretngth to look. It
i co itiriu )
was about ten minutes before I was sure I
•wasn't going to go into hysterics. It would
\probably v^~s~y amusing except I have the
rest of the day to go. It's not even noon.
Here's hoping my cheese stays on ..
ducks stay on thslr
pond! And the millipedes stay in
Missouri! ! !
Crouched in a corner
ol an emnty gray room
s ^ 3 examines whorls and loops
on her fingers
searching tor the telltale
omens of death -
a hint of decay
in one of the lines
a slight scent
of flesh gone had.
She crouch-s smaller,
the certainty of end
tightening the knot of herself
like the noose
on a murderer's neck
cfter the trap-door swings open.
Suddenly, she hears
somewhere in her mind;
the not as tantalize.
--She springs upright
tn^ tenseness, like a snipped wire,
she drowns herself
In rags , I conceal
soft hands unused to dirt;
I have always
been too good for work,
my noble line
protected in lace
surrounded by glass
but now things have changed-
my brocades mark me
for a tryst with the blade:
I hide my noble line
stolen in haste.
I stand here
swallowed by the sm~ll
of thousands of beggars
their cheers exploding like
through decaying teeth
and my heart freezes
as th- ice-terror
ftrabs my shoulder
and LeFarge drops a stitch.
I'LL BURN THAT BRIDGE WHEN I CQMR TO IT
I've got many varied volumes of lengthy bullshit.
I' ~e got irons in the fire that haven't melted
I've got a job waiting for me that I'll up and
An' I'll burn that bridge when I come to it!
I --rote a letter to a loved one that I ain't sent
I wanna fall in love, but I can't commit.
I'm in the middle of nowhere. So-be-it.
An" I'll burn that bridge when I come to it!
I've had years of education and hers I sit.
Tryin' to spin v-o rns like a damned knit-wit.
My brain is an airplane with no cockpit.
An' I'll burn that bridge when I come to it!
FOOTPRINTS IN THE THRESHOLE OF MISER J
before the empty mirror
shaking strange dreams
from my hair
■ — self-indulgent idiosvncr :ies
festering idiopathic ignom.:'ay.
Next to latent wishes
foot prints in the threshold
before the empty mirror
of what's left of me.
There 'e a couple more things that I have to admit.
I never let up like a bottomless pit
Guess I'll quit takin' drugs after this ilist hit.
/An' I'll burn that brige when I come to it!
LA VOYAGE DE LA MUSIQUF1
Play your guitar man.
Treat me to romance.
Cradle me in peace,
Slowly paralyze my senses.
Strike wrong your tool ,
And remind me where I
they've "been mimbered
they've been named
they've been tailored fea? success
they've been framed.
their every thought
their every dream
their every movement it would seem
is checked with the head ooach
'with th® t@am
with the rales and
KHX N X M H H
Beads of cold sweat swell, then run down of the influential passenger. On lad to
through the lines of the driver's furrowed pay dearly, and the driver waited pat-
forehead, dripping into and over his dilated iently for his opportunity. He had
eyes. lev, damp hands grip the steering wheel r>lentv of time.
'with white-knuckled desperation as his head His chance arrived in the form of
,j~rks spastically from side to side, searchingan obese, black inmate named Abe" 1 " 1 " 1 !,
endlesslv in the rear-view mirrors for whom "The Wind'' made the mistake of
approaching headlights. The passenger choos mouthing off to while alone. It Droved
to be a bad time for the diminutive p r -
senger to voice his racial prejudic
for Abdullah sent him crashing headlong
into the wall before he could
finish spewing his hatred.
"You fat nigger bastard, you'll pay
away nervously at a pile of white crystal on
a mirror in his lap, occasionally scoop-
ing up a small pile on the corner of the
razor blade and ordering the driver to "do
a blast." Reaching into the glove compart-
ment, the passenger removes a small, brass
tube in order to feed his own hungry nostrils. for this! squealed the rat-facer* pas-
"Goddammit!" hisses the driver as a pair senger as his assailant reached ym to
of h -adlights suddenly appears on the road continue .his fun. At this point the
behind them. He wasn't normally the tyne to driver stepped in and swung the metal
panic, but between the cocaine paranoia and mop-bucket he had been using over his
the unusual circumstances that had previous - head and crashing into the n.^ck of the
ly unfolded, he was slowly beginning to un- unwitting mountain of ebony flesh, send--
ravel. He was certain that every approaching ing him splashing to the cement floor.
- vehicle was an officer of the law. The fallen behemoth began to- grunt
"Is that a cop car?V he shouts at an something in retaliation, but was ^uick-
irritated passenger. "Look at those square ly silenced by a well-placed heel to the
headlights, it's gotta be a pig! : '
N N The passenger turns calmly toward him
with a look of disgust on his rodent-like
face. "Relax, jerk -wad, we're almost th^-re,
so don't start freakin' out on me now."
The knot in the driver ' s stomach begins
\.to burn and twist tighter and tighter as
the headlights pull up closer behind them.
Etched over the wheel and on the edge of
his ssat, the -driver's breathing becomes
heavier and he stops checking in the mir-
rors. As the small Volkswagen that had been
tailing them changes lanes and passes, the
driver lets out a deep breath and begins to
fumble for a cigarette.
"It's just not worth it, T fan, it's not
worth it," he repeats continually in his
head as they hurtle on through the black
It had been like this as long as the
driver could remember, ever since the wife
he never spoke of left him for another man.
head. The passenger, leaning against
the wall and rubbing his should -r,
screeched, "Who the hell are you, and
what do you want?"
Stepping forward, the driver's
large shadow engulfed the quivering,
crouched, little body in darkness.
"I need a connection, and I hear
that you're the man. I've b^en "oing
my days here straight for almost two
months now and I'm sick of this reality
shit. I'd like to establish a partne -
ship so I don't have to worry about cov-
ing up with cash or getting busted by
some trustee narc. :
Tipping his head to on- side, the
passenger eyed the towering driver cu-
riously. All right, all right. We
can work something out. But non of thi
partnership crap. You'll be wor" *.ng for
me. And here," he added as he str:~ch-
out his open hand, on the nalm of which
It had been over ten years now, and he still sat a small aluminum foil package.
trusted no one, .'especially the seedy passen- Th~ driver snatched it up and turn-
ger that had become his m -' 2 -l "ticket from ed to leave. "Now I don't owe you no-
hell. They had met in Stateville, and neith- thing.," yelled the passenger, "se when
^r one of them spoke of why thay were in or
x n what their names were. Ik simply didn't
matter. The passenger, who was known as
"The Wind" for his lack of a permanent ad-
dress (he never stayed anwhere more than
two or three nights), always had access to
th?. best drugs, .'in and out of prison, and
th= driver ^r:-^err-dto stay perpetually
numb rather than have to think (if he would
think, he would begin to remember). There-
fore, the driver offered his driving skills
end imposing physical presence in order to
establish a business relationship with
The Wind. " Simply offering these services
was not enough^ however, to earn the respect
we talk again, it f s on clean terms ! 7 '
The driver shook his head as h?
continued to walk.
As soon as they were both released
from the Big House (th^ driver got pa-
roled four months before the passenger),
they i running cocaine together,
because there was the most money in this
costly stimulant. Business h.ed rone
smoothly for years, despite the fact
that they had to ; 'eliminate" somi- of
their connections that had attempted
use the old "bait and switch 1 ' scam on
these two street veterans. 'Jsing an
'84 Corvette to do their rounds, they
The Driver, continued
had coolly and calculatingly established a
refutation as being ruthless but reliable
in delivering the goods. They had mechani-
callv gone about their routine, until
tonight. There was something different a-
s bout this night.
cading sweat, anyway.
"God in heaven, she looked .
like her," thought the driver, his
in another time and place, thinkxn
how things might have been. Sudo
the driver jerks the wheel sharp"
Everything had gone as planned until theythe left and into the oncoming tr-
tested the stuff at the connects' house in
Cicero. His name was Julio, and he was all
smiles. Th^ kind of forced smile that makes
your stomach turn, because it has bullshit
written all over it. He invited them in
with^ ''Hey, Brothers, corns in, come in} : ' of-
fering a hand to shake, which the driver
coldly refused. As they entered the fetid
kitchen where the business at hand would take
vplace, the driver noticed her. She had ob-
■vl.msly been beaten, cecause there was a
large swelling under one eye, and she had
bruises and scratches on her exposed arras.
As they entered, she opened her mouth as if
to speek, but her greeting was shoved back
swiftly by Julio's black, vicious stare.
Tl.e driver stared at her for a few moments,
and thought to himself, "I've seen those
eyes somewhere before. I know those eyes."
He was becoming more and more uncomfortable
as .his thoughts began to rack back in
time. The passenger removed his testing
kit from the inside pocket of his jacket,
reaching slowly and pulling it out gradually
and deliberately so as not to disturb a very
shaky Julio. The Zip-Lock bag filled with
the precious flak- was lying on the battered
table, and ; 'The Wind opened the bag and
fie. A thin smile of grim satis:"-
crosses the driver's face as the
passenger's final scream is cut s?
by the devastating impact.
She drifts into sleep
like a vagrant
in a small town:
"Don't get comfortable
just keep movin,"
the sheriff says
noting worndown shoes
that sass-flap as they walk
noting the grime and dust
of a thousand other small towns :
a sudden, prolonged gasp,
for a second
she knows the terror of drowning .
coming up for the last time
frantically sucking in air;
eyelids snap open
she exhales, slowlv
began the testing.
"'What seems to be the problem, gentlemen?releases the tight coil
a sweat-drench- d Julio managed to blurt out. of her body, softly
The passenger waited for the chemical reactionliquid again
to occur, and when nothing happened, he sim- she finds herself
ply looked at the driver and nodded. Julio on another Main Street
slumped to the floor as the driver placed his staring at another badge,
handgun in its holster.
The driver had been trying to avoid
looking at the girl, but as the passenger's
s\v_bchblade clacked into action, he couldn't
help but turn his head in time to see the
knife slice swiftly and cleanly through the
soft, white flesh of her throat. As she
flopped onto the table, he couldn't help but
look into the empty eyes as her life drain-
THE STEAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS
Within the inner sanctum
of the stall
ed instantly with a gurgling, gagging finali- liquid phrases
They automatically rushed from the
scene and jumped into the waiting auto
screeching to a reckless exit.
"Relax, Partner, we're outta there.
We still have the money," pleaded the pas-
senger, who had never seen the driver react
like this before. In fact, he had never
seen the driver react, period. Th.^ soaking
wet driver began to panic about the police,
mentioning it to the irritated and dis-
gusting passeng r. As mentioned earlier,
the driverthought every car was a cop.
The passenger was too busv "powdering his
nose' to notice the tears running down the
driver* a face. They blsndod with the cas-
In the morning
pellets of water words
ricochet from my chest
— Superman of linguistics
In the steam of consciousness
misty melancholy visions
rise from the tile
Alas, cleansed perception.
A FLY IN MY DREAM SOUP
You were there.
in a soupy dream
I touched you
and you turned your hack
•to talk -with someone
. . . .it hurt .
Judy Bel field
Cry of a seagull
sweeping over turgid water
dies in a passionate gray distance of sky
\sea rumbles in
on foam-laced waves . . .
I can tell the times of color:
tinted softlv green,
Jade plankton spires
reaching from the ocean floor
trying to touch the sun
with swaying fingers;
I remember the squeal
of dolphins racing past
and the numb silence
that gulped us down
to Neptune's trenches
where we laughed too soon.
Look now on the flat glass—
a slate of memories
snared by a mirror-past
washes so transparent
Ve cannot guess the original pigment
and we dare not try;
instead, walk away
bsfore the seagull returns
to cry for us again.
invoke a landslide of
enigmatic emotions : -. ,
a panpipe Laugh
tenor sax airily giggles
One fine day my brp.in and I
took it upon us to tak a Walk
and perhaps, we thought,
we'd have a nice little tall?
"Hi Brain, 1 ' I started, quite dimly
Tired, overloaded, Brain gave no reply
We walked many miles in solemn silence
and then my brain, it started to cry.
What could be the matter
our hands clinching firm
our walk getting ' faster
"Help," said my brain in a wailir ■ tone,
"I'm heading for disaster!"
"Why?" in puzzlement, I chose to ask
"Is it now that you've chosen to war.deij
"Your world, the reality," cried my brain
"has taken me away from you
and won't give me back ..."
Saddened and wordless
the two of us wandered home
separate were our hands
and though side by side we were
we were quite alone.
IN THE MOURNING
tears of honey
drop onto cold toast '
outside the kitchen window
winter saunters about
without particular aim
slovenly sweet stains
litter the faded table clot: .
a few crumbs of indirect affection
to the floor
losing rose-scented flavor
in the dust.
we went a separate way
/ And that famous smile
as grand as the pacific
Judy Bel field
Spoon me thick
over your wafer self
watch me cling
ooze over your edges
smother you with
" s we et s y r up phr as e s
cover you over
with a glistening coat.
not quite as finished
s peach marmalade —
'^a hit tart
in the aftertaste
hut giving, giving . . .
""An ins oui cant dream
brings to light
a fleeting vision
Like a stringless kite
this vision fades
from my sl o-^
to drift "long
into the night.
BE MY SHADOW
Sit b -3 side me
Teach me to be.
In c. time of words,
No room for action,
A life is in hold.
Sit baside me,
Teach me to act.
Permeate the shroud of ignorance,
P^k the figures,
Influence the shadows.
Sit beside me,
Be my shadow.
- v I
someone's table in the cafeteria,
pie snapped their fingers as Mor
sang "Jungle Love." I stared ir:
coffee, tears burning the rims ■' '
"Hey, Baby, check out that
Don't that sound make you just \. :ia
I looked blankly into Dell * s smi-
ling face. His smile died as his large,
hand covered mine.
"What's up. Mama?" he asked, sit-
ting^-down. "You look like you just lost
your best friend."
My lip trembled as I answered.
"That's just it, Dell. I don't have
any friends to lose. I can't under-
stand it, but I've been told yet again
that I'm no sister."
/ "Oh, Baby, why you gotta be so
damned sensitive? Why do you listen
to that bull-jive?"
When I didn't snswer, Dell sighed
and watched a fat tear creep down ray
cheek. He leaned forward, wining it
away with his finger.
"Don't sit there throwin' °not, : '
he said. "Let's rap. Who said you
wasn't no sister?"
"It doesn't matter who sai~ it,' ;
I answered. "Apparently it's tr -.;.
People don't want me around. The; ray I
put on white people airs, and tr_ r call
me an oreo. They Tsay I thinh I ? m
better than they are."
"Fran," said Dell, "you know I
BLACK OR ME
Music blared from a radio placed on
your friend, so don't take this the
wrong way. I've gotta ask you some-
He held my hand tightly and gazed
at me solemnly.
"Do you? Deep-down-insid^ „ do
you think you are better than the r^st
I snatched my hand from his grasp
"What the hell kind of question
is that? If that's what you think,
Tony Delrose, you know what you can
"Be cool, Baby, I'm your friend.
Now stop rolling your eves at ne. I
think I can halp you, but first liell
me. What can I do, Franc ine?"
I grinned but said nothing.
After a moment, he laughed. *'T 66
con't know if this is gonna work but
I'm gonna teach you how to be bl ok in
three easy lessons."
I laughed. "Are you crazy?
Haven't you looked at me late] 1 " "y
skin is a far cry from being white."'
"It takes more to be blacl' than
black skin, Fran," "he said sor'r "" v .
"It's a matter of how you carry vo^ .self,
how you look at life, and what's in-
s i d e you . "
Bl&sk or Me, continued
"That sounds good, but I'm not sura I
"You will," he assured me. "I'll come
by tonight and we'll have our first lesson."
As Dell left the cafeteria, I wondered
what he was planning.
Taking a swallow of Coke, I facsd Dell
Xaci-oss the kitchen table.
"Well, what's the first lesson, Profes-
sor?" I teased.
"Language," he answered. "Tonight W a
"Interesting," I replied.
"Let me explain," he went on. "Some-
times you talk like a textbook, which is fine
in its place. You use correct terms and
grammar is nearly perfect. To be black, you
have to learn to adapt. Blacks usually
know what's right, but sometimes they can't
deal with such proper l-- n ^uagef rom their
own race. It throws them off. If you want
Nto be called "a sister, you gotta talk like
the next day.
''Rise and shine, Lazy Bone?
it ' s
"I know what you mean," I said deject-
edly, "but it doen't come naturally ■ to me.
I find it hard to do."
"Well, say you meet a friend coming
down the .'street. What do you say?"
"I gu^ss I would say hi."
v "All right sometimes , but the usual pro-
n edure would be , ' What ' s happening , ' ' What ' s
up,' or 'What it be like.'"'
"Okay, I'm with you so far," I replied.
'Fow reverse the situation. Someone
comes up to you and says one of these phrases
now do you respond? 1 '
"I have no idea. 1 '
"Well, you would answer with, '3very-
^-thing's cool,' 'Ain't nothing goin' down,'
or 'Just hanging.'"
"I'm still with you."
"Okay, now you're in a room full of
friends. When you leave, what should vou
"Better," he said, "but still not quite
right. You should say, 'I'm gonna pull up,'
'Check you out later,' or depending on the
circumstances, you could say, 'Let's make a
move,' or 'Are you ready to ride?'"
"I've got that," I said lighting up a
''Can I cop a square?: he asked.
"Say what? " I asked puzzled
He jumped up shouting. "It's working!
iou just used slang."
I smiled sheepishly. "I did,, didn't
I? Wow tell me, what's a square?"
/ He laughed. square is that thing
I laughed also. "This is really be-
ginning to fall into place. I can hardly
wait for lesson two."
I was still asleep when Dell arrived
cried dumping a pile of packages
I opened on - ; eve, groaned,
ied my head beneath the pillow.
'Up, up, up," he insist sd.
after eleven, and we have lots of
"Damn you, Tonv Delrose," ■nv.t-*"'
tered. "It's Saturday. You kept me up
half the. night. What the hell are yo
doing up already?"
"I told you, we have a lot to do,
Frsncine. So get up! Fow ! ha'sr\d
pounding the bed.
/ "Damn vou anyway , Dell," I nsver-
/ed, sitting up groggily. "How t hell
did you get in here, anyway, and "hat's
all this shit?"
Dell sat in the chair near uy bed,
lit two cigarettes, and passed ip- one
, "We sure are vulgar when we wake
upj aren't we? Well, for starters,
Dee let me in on her way out. And uhis
shit, as you so sweetly put it, is your
new wardrobe. "
''Are you out of your fu . . ."
"Hold on, Mama!" he interrupted
angrily, 'there is only. so much I'm gon-
na 1st and. I'm tryin' to do you a fa-
vor. If you're gonna get your ass up
on your shoulders with me, you c-ae for-
get it. I can pull up, it won't "bother
me none . "
I pulled the blankets around r.e
.and eyed him guiltily.
"I'm sorry, Dell. I didn't get
much sleep last night, and I'm always
terrible in the morning."
"You can say that again," he said
with a smile.
I flicked my ashes into the ash-
tray and leaned back against th~ : ;c \d-
board. "Dell, I don't need any * T
clothes: I've got a closet full :>f
clothes; some of them haven't even been
"I know all about your clothes
"So you should know that I don't
need any new clothes."
"I'm afraid you do, Babe,'' he said
as he moved over to the packages and
began unwrapping them.
I sighed. "Can't this at least
wait until I have dressed and eaten?"
"No," he answered. "Why do this
the hard way? You would only have to
change again. Today, vou are wearing
these threads . "
" "All right," I sighed.
"First we have the jeans and the.
s licks.,." he said opening the first pack-
Black Or Me, continued
chicken is 'finger-lickin' good'?"
"Yeah, well, I dont want chicken
grease all over ray fingers. It - • -c'cs
nail polish and. gets on vour clothes. 7 '
"That's why you have your
I wrinkled my nose and reached on the
night stand for another cigarette. I tri=d
to blow smoke rings as Dell went on.
!; In the next package, we have two kinds
of shoes. First, we have your flats. These
"are black, so they can be worn with any color. he said smugly. "They don't show
Then, we have your gym .shoes; blue and whit egr ease easily. Fran, you sat yourself
so they'll match your jeans and some of the away from everyone. That makes 1 .ack
"Now wait a minute, Dall," I cut in. r, I
what clothes have to d6 with being
black. My own clothes seem fine to me."
"Well, you're wrong," he assured me.
Your clothes are nice, but they set you
ipart. Rather than looking like a school-
girl you look like a rising young executive.
TAilormade skirts, suits, blouses*, and
high heals, come on, Francine. How many
other students do you see dressed that way?"
"But I 'like iny high heels and dresses,
They make me look like a lady."
"You can be a lady in .anything vou wear,
Besides, if you dress up all the time, you
won't look any different on special
; 'But I hate gym shoes. They make your
feet sweat and stink," I whined.
"Oh, Francine, will you stop hunting for creation,
excuses, get your black behind out of that Tuesday.
and white people feel inferior. You
have to join in with the grouo some-
times. So what if you get a little
dirty, at least you have fun. Besides,
that ' s why they make wash-and-wear and
soap-and-water . "
"I get your point," I said
as I picked up my drumstick and b -gan
to munch it. "You know, it tastes bet-
ter this way," I said later around a
mouthful of chicken.
"Atta girl," he grinned. "You're
finally learning to be a homegirl.
Monday, I wors mv jeans to aool
Dell was right. People compliment 2d
me all day. He was "oleased with his
bed and go try these clothes on.
Dell's face fell when he
saw me. He seemed almost ready to cry
Dell handed me my robe. I put it on and when his eyes took in my navy-blue skirt.
, muttered my way into the bathroom. Perhaps
he was right, but only time would tell.
"Hey now," Dell said when I emerged from
the bedroom. "Well, you is one fine-looking
x Mama, and I ain't bullshittin' . "
'They look nice, but I don't know," I
/ "Well, you think about it. We're going
/ou-'j for lunch."
"Lunch," I exclaimed. "I haven't even
"You can call it brunch if you want."
"Where are we going?" I asked.
/'Kentucky Fried," he said walking to
: 'Will you shut up and come on!" he ex-
claimed. "I didn't chow down this morning
"^either. My intestines are rubbing together." want to be my friends. I'm the same
pink blouse, and high heels.
"What's this?" he asked. 'I
thought we had made some headway."
"You did all right, Dude,' ; I
smiled, "and I'm very happy."
"Then I don't get it. Why are
you dressed like this?"
"Dell, you helped me more tb^n you
know. I'm glad you got me the cT-^thes,
even if it did cost me a fortune I'm
also glad you helped me with my <~~ommar.'
"It that's true, then whyth^
"Be cool," I answered. I'm get-
ting to that. While deer> .ir.side, I
love the clothes and I will \r-ar them
sometimes, I realize something, m h^re
was nothing really wrong with me. You
liked me before the change. That's real
friendship. The vay I dress <ind speak
shouldn't influence thos* 3 who r.. ly
'You mean your stomach is shaking hands
with your backbone?"
"Yeah, something like that."
When we got to Kentucky Fried, I sat at
one of the tables and Dell went up to order.
He cam; back with two two-piece dinners and
drinks. I was eating mine when I noticed
Dill was staring at me. I looked at him
"Your approach is all wrong," he said.
'You sat like a white girl, and a snobbish
one at that.' 1
I lust stored at him.
"Why are you cutting your chicken leg?
Mdn't anybody ever t.^11 you that this
person whether I wear jeans or a
"I guess you got me there," said
"Well, the point is," I continued,
"I'm not going to dress to please 'v -vy -
body else. I'm going to please me.
If I'm happy with my speech and ■ is,
then I expect my friends to accept this."
. "I can hang with that," ht said
I stuck out mv hand for a soul
handshake, then linking arms, we walk-
ed into the cafeteria.
I'M AH ADDICT OF SORT^
A heartboom on the prairie
far from the cement of city
far from voices or touch/
ir tall grasses —
in summer gusts —
a thumping cadence
pumps out life
under a blue platter sky
like the last buffalo dying
in clover gone to seed.
The rhythm slo~'s
. as late afternoon
turns purple in the clouds
and if I listen
while days eat up days
a single echo
will tremble through the earth
and sound the hour . . .
I will raise my eyes
and whisper a prayer
for the passing of all my fathers.
to stay alive;
nurture and ravage
in every bite
flourish and waste
in identical de a;rees.
Born from its own decay
— a spemcell
erupted from a dead testicle
drops like an ova
though a withered vomb —
only to be consumed
by its own teeth
like a snake's tail
in its own mouth
rolling in a hoop
forward and back"
and I do not know
THE UNPREPARED STUDENT'S PRAYER
Now I sit me down to cram
For tomorrow' s big exam
Alibis week j rea iiy tried
to crack my books and look inside.
But I took a different route
Now I wish I hadn't gone out.
I pray dear Lord you will avail
I'm an addict of sorts
a strange addict of emotions
I gather them,
and I seed them
I love to thrive on them
while they grow.
I'm an addict to my feelings
gripped by wholesome fears
feverish loves and bindings
and thoughts that arouse
my inner cowardice.
I love to touch my emotions
grasp them by the hand
I hold them,
The mind is such a strange land
hates and fears
your incredible lust to die
your insatiable love of life.
My feelings are my prize
they thrill me
even in tear-stained controversy
the envies and immoralities
and blue-eyed love so true
All make me run to
the tip of the world
so warm, alive and new
and new, and new
Eat the mist
Smother the frost
Pull the mountains up
Kiss the wind.
( Hey Swe et he art )
Lay in the vallies
Spray every window
Grace every wood
Dazzle every cell
(Frankly dear, I don't give
Set yourself down
Make way for brother moon
Wear briefly your coat
Come back shortly.
(We've lost him doctor. )
omn . )
Cause I can't
IN THE PARK
LISTENING TO THEM
In the park
resting on a bench,
a yellow child
eats the hair of her mother's arm
in long strands
and affectionate clumps
but stops c&d. .stares
at lovers smbracing
who smile back.
In the park
near the broken statue
stir about in vague figures
as the statue looks on,
Amidst the golden leaves
a harried squirrel
x harbors Fall
in subtle piles
In the park
behind the autumn breeze
yea might find
a slouching figure
leaning against a bare ^ T ^"
A TYPO ERROR IN THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
by a satin tie,
fades a Blue Chip
tp a suicidal grey.
at prime time images
catching a fading joke
from nameless faces*
in th; cobwebbed
of my mind.
Listening to them, my parents.
One cowboy, one Indian
talking in the other room
Howdy and How trying for peace
What a -wonderful sound
I squaw, I cowgirl
In my room wondering
Thinking as to whether
I should go out
and risk interrupting
such a beautiful thing
Should I risk having to deal
with the overwhelming way I feel
when I do not need
my gun or my arrow . . .
In the distance
a Doppler-effect engine f^ded,
the sound tunneling into silence,
blue light shifted
to receding red —
she wondered if Einstein knew
the aesthetic properties of red:
not melting into a transparent blur
of horizon white
she wondered just long enough
to miss the final winking of time
as it sealed another year's concreti
from air, water --
all the harmful elements
necessary for life.
The corpses of autumn
fall on the
Only the old
see the fall
some will not be frightened
that we stop